Four Reasons You Can Change Your Child Support Order in California
As a general rule in California, once a child support obligation has been determined and the child support court order has been made, the court will not make a revision to the court order or issue a new child support order unless there is a showing that the circumstances of one or both of the parents has materially changed.
There is no clearly defined standard for what constitutes enough of a change in circumstances to be considered "material" in California, so the decision to modify a child support order is generally at the discretion of the family court judge. Four of the most common changes in circumstances warranting a child support order modification include:
- Parents' Income Has Changed
Just because one or both of the parents' financial circumstances have changed does not automatically mean that the court will modify the child support order. The court will consider each parent's financial situation as a whole before deciding if a modification is necessary. If a child support-paying parent suffers a serious financial hardship, such as a serious accident requiring expensive medical care or uninsured catastrophic losses, the parent can request a hardship deduction from his or her income, which is factored into the child support obligation calculation.
- Job Loss
The sudden loss of a job could warrant a decrease in a child support obligation, and the parent that has lost his or her job must take action immediately to have the child support order modified. Child support order modifications are not retroactively applied; the changes only apply to child support payments going forward.
- New Children to Support
If a parent who pays child support has a new biological child or has legally adopted a new child to care for, he or she may be eligible for a modification to his or her child support obligation so that he or she can provide care and financial support to the new child.
- Amount of Time Spent With Child Has Changed
A child support order could be modified to more accurately reflect the amount of time that the child spends with each parent. If, at the outset of the child support order, the father and child support-payer lived in a different state, but has since moved closer to the child and sees the child more regularly, he could request that his child support obligation be reduced to reflect his taking up more of the child's living expenses since the child is spending more time with him. The opposite would be true, as well. A mother could request an increase in the child support she receives if the father has moved away or spends less time with the child then when the original child support order was made.
Contact a Ventura Child Support Modification Attorney
Negley Law is committed to helping you with your child support modification needs. If you need to request an adjustment to an existing child support order, you should contact the experienced child support order modification lawyers at Negley Law. For more than 15 years we have been working closely with Ventura County residents to get them the child support modifications that they need. Contact the seasoned team of child support attorneys at Negley Law by calling (805) 464-7315 today.